The Johnson New Brunswick Foundation is incorporated, principally to address needs in New Jersey’s Middlesex County, home of the Johnson & Johnson medical supply company. The Foundation’s first act is to transfer 130 acres of land to the county for a public park. Johnson Park, as it is known today, is later augmented by the gift of an additional 22 acres.
Focus BroadensThe Johnson New Brunswick Foundation Board of Trustees amends its certificate of incorporation to allow grantmaking beyond Middlesex County and changes its name to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. New Jersey will remain the focus of the Foundation’s work until 1972.
Robert Wood Johnson family members retire as chairman and president of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The Board membership shifts to include more trustees beyond the Johnson family.
Photo of four generations: Robert Wood Johnson II (seated), Robert Wood Johnson III (standing), Robert Wood Johnson IV (baby), Robert Wood Johnson (portrait on the wall).
A Generous Legacy
On January 30, Johnson & Johnson’s founder and principal shareholder, Robert Wood Johnson, dies, leaving his common stock in the company—10,204,377 shares—to the Foundation. Three years will pass before probate of the will is completed.
A Bequest and a Robbery
The $1.2 billion bequest from Robert Wood Johnson’s will makes RWJF the second largest foundation in the nation, the largest devoted to health care. After the announcement that RWJF is worth more than a billion dollars, a burglar breaks into the Foundation’s headquarters at 142 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ, expecting to find stacks of cash.
Grants awarded through 1971 total $16,097,947. In a flurry of crucial decisions late in the year, the Board of Trustees resolves that the RWJF focus should become national and that Board membership should be primarily health care professionals. Gustav O. Lienhard is the president and treasurer.
Move to Princeton
RWJF donates the New Brunswick headquarters to charity and moves to Princeton, N.J. As the “national program” model becomes the principal vehicle for grantmaking, RWJF begins recruiting staff and sets three objectives: (1) to improve access to medical care services for underserved Americans; (2) to improve the quality of health and medical care; and (3) to develop mechanisms for objective analysis of public health policies.
Photo (from left to right) of Gustav O. Lienhard and David E. Rogers, MD.
First Grant: Student Aid
RWJF makes its first grant based on the national program model: $44 million to the Association of American Medical Colleges for student aid.
Primary Care Training
Comprehensive Primary Care Health Science Programs (1972–1977) As a counterweight to medical specialization, RWJF funds comprehensive primary care health science programs at the Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn. Primary care training and awareness of related career opportunities is augmented through the development of programs in family practice—now Meharry’s largest residency—and preventive community medicine. The initiative includes a master’s program in community health and the development of off-campus training sites.
Photo (from left to right) of Mahlon Connon, Lloyd C. Elam, MD, and David E. Rogers, MD.
Institute of Medicine Created
Development of the basic program of the Institute (1972–1975) RWJF joins other foundations to create the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as an independent and objective analyst of the nation’s health needs. During this three-year grant period, the IOM issues reports and policy statements on issues such as health maintenance organizations and the cost of education in health professions. An additional RWJF grant in 1975 sustains core staff for further study projects and overall planning.
Clinical Scholars Program Begins
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars (1972–2016) RWJF Clinical Scholars begins, providing young physicians with postdoctoral training in innovative research, administrative leadership, policy-making, and community-based participatory research. Among more than 1,100 scholars to date are directors of government agencies, academic departments, hospitals, and foundations. They include David Satcher, MD, former U.S. Surgeon General; Grinnell College President Raynard Kington, MD, PhD, (former acting director, National Institutes of Health); and RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA.
Accelerating Emergency Response
Emergency Medical Response Program (1973–1978) Seizing opportunity in a changing social climate, RWJF launches the Emergency Medical Response Program to get prompt and effective treatment to victims of accidents and other medical emergencies across the nation. Grants, guidelines, and technical assistance give direction to an evolving medical field. The program increases the number of trained emergency medical personnel, improves access to the nation’s 911 call system, and enhances communication between hospitals and ambulances.
Assessing Availability of Primary Care
Study of the Role of Medical Specialists in Primary Care (1973–1979) RWJF funds a research team at the University of Southern California to study how much time physician specialists devote to primary care. Data from logs of 1,500 physicians are analyzed by type of medical practice and geographic location to create a national database that more accurately quantifies the amount of primary care being provided. The database proves invaluable in planning medical education and personnel needs across the United States.
Dental Care for the Handicapped
The program aims to increase the number of community dentists equipped with the skills and attitudes necessary for effective care of handicapped children and adults. As a result, virtually all dental schools now teach dental students how to treat handicapped patients.
RWJF Finds its Voice
Frank Karel takes charge of RWJF communications and revolutionizes philanthropy’s public messaging. Karel’s view: “Getting the word out is essential to bringing about social change.” In total, Karel will serve 20 years at RWJF, his tenure interrupted by a six-year stint at the Rockefeller Foundation.
Reducing Infant Mortality
Regionalized Perinatal Care Program (1975–1983) RWJF supports regional care systems for high-risk pregnant women and newborns in eight areas. The Regionalized Perinatal Care Program organizes services in pyramid fashion. Pregnant women at risk of delivering a low-birthweight baby are identified early and transferred up the pyramid; capstone hospitals have high-tech neonatal ICUs. Grantees succeed in lowering neonatal mortality rates, despite the persistence of severe racial, economic, and class differences.
A Permanent Home
RWJF moves into its present headquarters, constructed over two years on land it owns within Princeton University’s Forrestal Center.
Support for Fledgling Nurse-Family Partnership
The origins of the Nurse-Family Partnership (1979–2007) RWJF supports a demonstration project in Elmira, N.Y. that uses registered nurses to take preventive health services into the homes of low-income pregnant women and first-time mothers. Positive results inspire expansion of the program, and in 1999, the Foundation commits to a $50 million plan to replicate it nationally. The goal is to field 6,000 nurse visitors to serve approximately 99,000 families by the year 2017.
RWJF Refines Grantmaking Strategy to Test, Demonstrate, Diffuse Solutions
RWJF’s refined strategies: (1) Develop and test new approaches to health care problems; (2) To objectively assess their operational effectiveness and value, demonstrate new health care arrangements and approaches that have shown promise in limited settings; (3) Promote broader diffusion of programs that have been objectively shown to improve health status or to make health care more affordable.
Photo of Walsh McDermott, MD.
A Swing to Extended Care
Rural Hospital Program of Extended-Care Services (1981–1987) RWJF support enables 26 small rural hospitals in five states to begin using the “swing-bed” concept to help meet a growing demand for extended care. Because extended care is eligible for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, swing beds generate about 8 percent of total patient revenue, providing breathing room for hospitals that have been struggling financially. Swing beds also smooth the continuum of care from initial hospital admission through discharge to residences or nursing homes.
Economics Shape Grantmaking Policy
With inflation roaring and federal spending in decline, RWJF hones its focus, to: (1) improve access to care for the most underserved population groups; (2) make health care more effective and affordable; and (3) help people maintain or regain maximum attainable function in their everyday lives.
Overcoming Disadvantage Among Academics
Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (1983–2017) With an initial eight physicians committed to biomedical research, RWJF launches what will become the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, named in honor of the first African American to chair a Harvard Medical School department. Its goal: increase senior faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds and foster similarly disadvantaged physicians to follow in their footsteps. More than 200 have completed the program, which now also supports clinical investigation, health services research, and diversity among dental school faculty.
Photo of Harold Amos, MD, and Ruby P. Hearn, PhD
Reaching the Homeless Where They Live
Health Care for the Homeless Program (1983–1990) Agencies in 51 big cities join to deliver health and social services to homeless people at places where they congregate. Co-sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the program creates the first large dataset on this population. Among insights: single women with children comprise a significant and dangerously imperiled component. The program becomes the template for landmark federal legislation, the Stewart B. McKinney Act Homeless Assistance of 1987.
Robert H. Myers, a trustee since 1983, is appointed chairman of the board, succeeding Gustav O. Lienhard who, after leading the Foundation for 14 years, becomes a trustee Emeritus. Leighton E. Cluff, MD, is named president, succeeding David E. Rogers, MD, who returns to academic medicine.
Photo of Robert H. Myers, JD.
Response to AIDS
AIDS Health Services Program (1986–1992) RWJF launches a six-year program to establish comprehensive health and support services for victims of AIDS and related disorders. With urban hospitals staggered by the epidemic, the program emphasizes community-based, out-of-hospital care as a more humane, cost-efficient alternative. The Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act of 1990 is modeled directly on the program, notably in its reliance on representative community planning groups, a comprehensive continuum of care, and volunteer/ buddy support networks.
RWJF Board Targets Three Priorities
RWJF announces three priority areas: (1) Population segments most vulnerable to illness. (2) Diseases of regional or national concern; (3) Broad concerns such as equity and care quality.
Within these areas, the Board resolves to focus on:
- Infants, children, and adolescents
- Chronic illness and disability
- Destructive behavior
- Mental illness
- Organization and financing of health services
- Quality of care
- Ethical issues
- Health manpower
- Impact of medical advances
Targeting Date Abuse and Health Illiteracy in N.J.
New Jersey Health Initiatives (1987–2014) Deepening its home-state commitment, RWJF invests in innovative projects in ambulatory and community health in New Jersey. A diverse grants portfolio supports 190 projects focused principally on two themes: preventing dating abuse among adolescents and promoting health literacy among immigrants. Additional program elements have included Jersey-based replication of RWJF national programming and small grants.
Matching Local Efforts
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Local Funding Partnerships (1987-2014) RWJF offers matching grants to stimulate local investment in innovative and sustainable programs that promote the health of vulnerable populations. In the ensuing quarter century, RWJF provides more than $106 million for a vast array of creative programs in communities across 48 states. A 2002 assessment finds that a year after their grants end, 86 percent of projects are still going strong, as are 75 percent of all projects funded in the program’s first 15 years.
Frail Elders Able to Live at Home
On Lok Approach to Care for the Elderly (1987–1991) RWJF builds on grants to San Francisco’s On Lok Senior Health Services in support of its Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). An alternative to nursing facilities, PACE uses a fixed-rate team approach to enable elders to remain living in their homes, if possible. Despite their great frailty, enrollees are hospitalized less often than the overall Medicare population. Average savings of 38 percent are realized in a member’s first six months.
Funding for Health Policy Research
Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (1988–2014) RWJF establishes the nation’s largest source of private funding for research and policy analysis of health care economics and organizational infrastructure. HCFO provides a bridge between researchers and policy-makers. Funded studies focus on topics such as Medicare, links between health costs and the general economy, the economics of care coordination, private insurance, and the nation’s long-term-care needs.
Board Chairman Named
Sidney F. Wentz is elected chairman of the board.
Beyond the $1 Billion Mark
RWJF awards the billionth dollar of grant funds since its establishment as a national foundation in 1972.
Steven A. Schroeder, MD, is named president of RWJF.
The Governor Joins RWJF Board
The Honorable Thomas H. Kean, former governor of New Jersey, is named to RWJF’s Board of Trustees.
Matching Goals to U.S. Priority Health Needs
With 35 million Americans uninsured and the havoc caused by substance abuse absorbing 25 percent of health care dollars, the RWJF Board reviews priorities and affirms these goals: (1) to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care; (2) to improve the way services are organized for people with chronic health conditions; and (3) to reduce substance abuse.
RWJF also recommits itself to addressing the escalating cost of medical care.
Identifying Health Leaders at the Community Level
RWJF Community Health Leaders (1991–2016) The first 10 awardees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders program are recognized for unsung and unusually resourceful work to improve health care among underserved and often disenfranchised populations. The $125,000 awards include $20,000 for a leader’s personal development, with the rest for his or her project. By 2008, creative outreach efforts have yielded 163 award recipients, five of them in the Gulf Coast region affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
RWJF 20th Anniversary
RWJF marks its 20th anniversary with an event at the Princeton Hyatt Regency.
Clinics in Schools
Making the Grade: State and Local Partnerships to Establish School-Based Health Centers (1992–2001) RWJF supports state-local collaborations to create and sustain school-based health centers. The centers deliver primary care—including screening and treatment for physical and mental health problems—but also teach students to manage their health. In its seven-year run, the program boosts the number of centers in nine states from 278 to 442. Along with improved care quality, the program helps the centers secure Medicaid eligibility and more stable state financing.
Making Philanthropy Accountable
Longtime RWJF Vice President Terrance Keenan’s “The Promise at Hand: Prospects for Foundation Leadership in the 1990’s” is published, with a forward by RWJF President Steven A. Schroeder. At a time when some in political life favor curtailing large philanthropies, Keenan urges that foundations be animated by moral purpose and held accountable as public trusts.
Where There's Smoke...
Tobacco Policy Research and Evaluation Program (1992–1996) RWJF supports 22 research projects on policies to reduce tobacco use, especially among youth. Veteran tobacco researchers are joined by experts from diverse disciplines, including economics, psychology, criminal justice, and political science. The program’s broad impact is reflected in frequent requests to testify before federal, state and local legislatures, 39 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 54 presentations at professional conferences. The program identifies topics for future investigation and is credited with informing public policy.
To break down departmental barriers and promote collaboration, RWJF creates four Goal Development Work Groups that draw membership from across the Foundation. The groups focus, respectively, on access, chronic health conditions, substance abuse, and costs of care. Each includes RWJF staff from programming, research and evaluation, communications, and program monitoring (finance).
New Fronts in the War on Tobacco
SmokeLess States: National Tobacco Policy Initiative (1993–2004) The initiative begins developing and supporting state and municipal advocacy coalitions working toward comprehensive tobacco control. In 2000, based on the best available research—much of it gleaned from Foundation programs, SmokeLess States shifts to an exclusive focus on smoke-free-air laws, tobacco tax increases, and expanded Medicaid coverage for treatment of tobacco dependence. Tobacco taxes rise in 35 states and 10 enact smoke-free air legislation.
New Board Member Seated
Robert E. Campbell is elected to the RWJF Board of Trustees.
Making it Safer To Be a Kid
Injury Free Coalition for Kids: Dissemination of a Model Injury Prevention Program for Children and Adolescents (1994–2009) The Injury Free Coalition for Kids, a physician-led program launched in Harlem to prevent childhood injuries, secures RWJF backing. Affiliated hospital trauma centers identify areas with high injury rates and work with community groups to implement interventions. Construction of playgrounds and public education in the use of car seats and bike helmets are common initiatives. After seven years, the Coalition evolves into a national RWJF program, in place at 40 hospitals in 37 cities.
Strengthening Advanced Nursing Education
Partnerships for Training: Regional Education Systems for Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse-Midwives, and Physician Assistants (1994–2004) Partnerships for Training builds eight education systems in 13 states to increase primary-care providers in medically underserved regions. These university-community partnerships rely on Web and video courses to educate nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and physician assistants. Over 10 years, faculty at 46 academic institutions develop 109 distance-learning courses, and more than 1,000 students graduate. Ninety percent of graduates are practicing in underserved areas and without the program, 70 percent of them would not have enrolled.
Another Milestone in Funding
RWJF awards reach the $2 billion mark.
Prioritizing Grants and Analyzing Outcomes
An RWJF Board of Trustees retreat leads to development of a tripartite framework for analyzing grantmaking. Grants are classified as targeted, core, or exploratory. The analysis of grantmaking is also extended to provide a post-mortem on completed programming. A Grants Results Reporting Unit is created to produce reports on closed national programs and major individual projects. Today it is known as Program Results.
Communities and Collaboration
Turning Point: Collaborating for a New Century in Public Health (1996–2006) Recognition that wellbeing increasingly is rooted in non-medical areas inspires RWJF to partner with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on a 10-year program to make the nation’s public health system “more effective, more community-based and more collaborative." Operating in 22 states, Turning Point engages stakeholders not previously involved in public health, among them businesses, educators, and faith communities. The program spurs creation of statewide public health institutes and a national movement toward accreditation of health departments.
25th Anniversary: Scanning the Far Horizon
RWJF celebrates its 25th anniversary with a conference in Washington, DC, called Piecing Together the Puzzle: The Future of Health and Health Care in America. With the Commonwealth Fund, RWJF creates the Institute for the Future to anticipate health care needs in the coming millennium.
RWJF Anthology Series Debuts
Published annually, To Improve Health and Health Care: The RWJF Anthology Series offers an unvarnished and in-depth analysis of the Foundation’s programming as seen by both staff members and outsiders.
Covering Kids: A National Health Access Initiative for Low-Income, Uninsured Children (1997–2002); Covering Kids & Families (2001–2009) RWJF pioneers Covering Kids to: 1) identify and enroll children eligible for Medicaid and other public health insurance programs; 2) simplify the enrollment process; and 3) promote coordination among programs. RWJF’s efforts contribute to impressive results: The number of uninsured children drops from 11 million in 1997 to 8 million in 2002. The successor program, Covering Kids & Families, sees enrollment in state Children’s Health Insurance Program double to 4.4 million between 2000 and 2007.
Bridging the Gap
Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice and Policy for Healthy Youth Behavior (1997–2012) Bridging the Gap debuts as a multidisciplinary exploration of programs to curtail youth smoking, drinking, and drug abuse. In 2004, the focus shifts to diet, physical activity, obesity, and tobacco use. Using databases drawn from 1,000 communities in 50 states, researchers weigh the effectiveness of random drug testing, zero-tolerance DUI laws and similar social and legal strategies. The work is credited with strong legislative impacts.
Teen Pregnancy: Broadening the Conversation
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (1997–2008)
The Campaign sets a 10-year goal of cutting teen pregnancy rates by one third. Media messaging seen by hundreds of millions of people supports delaying sexual activity, but the program also promotes contraceptive education and services. The campaign is widely credited with a role in the sharp decline in teen motherhood since the early 1990s, partly by breaking open a discussion that had become polarized around the issue of abortion.
Improving Chronic Illness Care
Improving Chronic Illness Care (1998–2009)
RWJF launches Improving Chronic Illness Care (ICIC) to redesign delivery of care to the chronically ill. The program’s heart, the Chronic Care Model, replaces the traditional physician/office-based structure with collaboration among patients, professionals, families and friends. ICIC’s clinical improvement program engages over 1,500 practice organizations, including the giant New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. The work is widely noted, and the American Academy of Family Physicians embraces ICIC’s Chronic Care Model.
Changes at the Top
The Foundation’s president, Steven A. Schroeder, MD, assumes the additional position of chief executive officer, and Robert E. Campbell is elected chairman of the board. Schroeder succeeds Sidney F. Wentz, who is elected trustee emeritus.
A Binary Division of Programming
RWJF program operations are reorganized into two divisions: The Health Group oversees work on tobacco; alcohol and illegal drugs; health and behavior; community health; and population-based health sciences and policy. The Health Care Group addresses coverage, priority populations, clinical care management, end-of-life care, information, and supportive services.
Comfort for the Dying
Center to Advance Palliative Care (1999–2008)
RWJF launches the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). By distinguishing palliation from “end-of-life care”, the program proves a boon to physicians overwhelmed by distraught patient families. An RWJF-funded PBS series, On Our Own Terms, prompts more than 1,200 inquiries. In response, CAPC spawns six Palliative Care Leadership Centers to work with hospitals and hospices. With other organizations, CAPC develops consensus standards and demonstrates cost savings. It’s reach eventually expands to include serious, but not immediately life-threatening, conditions.
More to Good Health Than Medicine
As it expands its grantmaking beyond medical care, RWJF adds a focus on Health and Well-being to its set of goals. Programs under this rubric promote healthy communities and lifestyles.
Setbacks in the Struggle for Full Coverage
The number of uninsured Americans grows due to the economic slowdown and rising unemployment following the terrorist attacks on September 11. In response, RWJF bolsters its effort to expand health care coverage.
Renovations and New Wing Completed at RWJF's Headquarters
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sits on a 70-acre campus and grounds featuring a .6-mile walking/jogging path, our Good Stewards Garden that provides fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers to our full-service dining facility and local food banks, and a complete fitness center offering individual and group exercise classes. The 70,000 square foot building is expanded to 180,000 square feet, offering staff ample space for closed meetings as well as open areas for quiet concentration, casual conversation, or active collaboration.
An Alternative to Nursing Homes
Green House Initiative (2002–2013)
Radically rethinking the conventional nursing home, RWJF backs creation of small, elder-centered residences. Green Houses, now in 27 states, provide 6–12 residents with private baths and bedrooms and shared dining and social spaces. Quality nursing is available, but the medical model is de-emphasized. Evaluations find greater satisfaction among residents and fewer negatives, such as bedsores. A $10 million RWJF investment aims to triple the number of Green Houses and focus on serving low-income seniors.
Applications Go DigitalGrantmaking Online (GO) RWJF launches Internet-based grant application and review system. With Grantmaking Online, RWJF levels the playing field for applicants by requiring everyone to submit standard forms; eliminate huge volumes of paper; and make the review process more equitable with all reviewers responding to standardized review criteria.
Changing of the Guard
The senior vice president of RWJF’s Health Care Group, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, is elected president and chief executive officer of the Foundation, effective January 1. She succeeds Steven A. Schroeder, MD, who is elected trustee emeritus.
RWJF revises its access and chronic health conditions goal areas to bring them more fully into alignment with the goal of improving the quality of health care for all Americans. Four portfolios are created. The “targeted portfolio” deals with health care coverage, quality care, disparities in care, end-of-life care, nursing, tobacco control, childhood obesity, public health, and the prevention and treatment of addiction. The other three focus on vulnerable populations, human capital, and pioneer work.
An Epidemiological Approach to Gang Violence
Chicago Project for Violence Prevention Model (2003–2013) Building on a grant awarded four years earlier, RWJF embraces Chicago’s CeaseFire approach to gun violence. CeaseFire employs credible messengers, typically ex-offenders, to intercept gang members and others at risk of involvement in retaliatory shootings. Seeking to change the norms and behaviors that drive violence, it’s a public health strategy modeled on the way infectious disease epidemics are reversed. Proven success has spread the CeaseFire approach to Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and other urban centers.
Foundation Awards Climb Higher
Total RWJF grants reach the $5 billion mark.
Our Guiding Principles
RWJF establishes "Guiding Principles."
Overcoming Disparities in Cardiac Care
Expecting Success: Excellence in Cardiac Care (2004–2009)
To reduce disparate outcomes based on race, ethnicity and language, RWJF helps 10 hospitals develop tools that improve care for all cardiac patients. A learning network provides hospital teams with technical assistance, and patients are tracked after release. The program demonstrates that collecting data on ethnicity and language can be smoothly institutionalized as part of an intake procedure. Within a year, the percentage of patients receiving all core measures of care rises at each hospital.
More Latitude for Nurses
Transforming Care at the Bedside (2004–2009)
An RWJF national initiative, TCAB empowers front-line nurses to implement innovations. The initiative’s bottom-up approach, developed with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, distinguishes it from traditional reform modalities. Freeing nurses to spend more time with patients improves care but also enhances job satisfaction. Initiated at 13 hospitals, the TCAB model eventually takes root at more than 100 hospitals, thanks to wide professional attention and the clear value of the innovations.
Alarm Over Childhood Obesity
With the scope of the epidemic more and more apparent, childhood obesity is added to the Targeted Portfolio, along with coverage, disparities, nursing, public health, quality health care, and tobacco use and exposure.
Aligning Forces for Quality
Aligning Forces for Quality (2005–2013)
To lift the overall quality of health care, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and provide models for national reform, RWJF develops Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q). In an initial 16 communities, AF4Q brings together the people who get care, give care and pay for care. It’s a collaboration that includes physicians, nurses, patients, purchasers, hospitals, health plans, and many others working together toward shared and fundamental health and health care objectives.
Keys to Addiction Recovery
Advancing Recovery: State/Provider Partnerships for Quality Addiction Care (2005–2010)
RWJF’s Advancing Recovery program funds 12 state-provider partnerships seeking to overcome clinical resistance to proven drug treatment practices. They include medication, continuing care management, psychosocial interventions, and wraparound support services. The partnerships choose two treatment modes and use the NIATx process-improvement model to integrate them at both policy and service-delivery levels. The four-year program reaches some 10,000 patients and lowers re-admission rates. RWJF also provides start-up funding for a national resource center on addiction.
Choice Among Elder Care Options
Cash & Counseling (2005–2012)
To give elders and the disabled more control over their care, RWJF’s Cash & Counseling program assists with budgeting and paperwork for services of their choice (e.g., bathing, grooming, cooking, housekeeping). Importantly, it enables participants to hire preferred personal care aides, including family members, in place of assigned social workers. One measure of the program’s success: Congress authorizes homebound seniors to select caregivers, and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 appropriates money to do so.
Response to Hurricane Katrina
RWJF responds to Hurricane Katrina with $1.5 million in emergency aid to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army and an additional $1 million to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to assist the CDC in its response to the public health needs of affected communities. RWJF also funds more than $18 million in grants to support short- and long-term recovery.
Zeroing in on Disparities
With infant mortality, diabetes, and cardiac death rates among Blacks and Hispanics far worse than among non-Hispanic Whites, the Foundation Board of Trustees decides that quality and equality are to become a focus of regional health care efforts.
Leverage Through Rebranding
In January, the Foundation unveils a rebranding effort requested by trustees to build greater awareness of RWJF, help grantees better leverage the Foundation’s reputation, and validate the work of our most promising programs.
Healthy Schools Program (2006–2014)
RWJF provides major support to launch the Healthy Schools Program, an initiative of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. The Healthy Schools Program embraces two RWJF priorities: that foods and beverages at school meet dietary guidelines and that vigorous physical activity be promoted. As of 2012, the program serves more than 14,000 schools across the United States.
Overcoming Obstacles to Health
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America (2006–2013)
The Commission—a panel of 14 American leaders—is established to explore social and economic factors that affect health, to seek government policy changes at every level, and to promote private-sector initiatives to reduce health inequities. The Commission makes 10 recommendations to upgrade the nation’s health within years, not decades. Among them: improve nutrition; promote physical activity and early childhood development; eliminate tobacco use; and require accountability for health impacts in all government policies.
Reversing Rise in Childhood Obesity
RWJF commits $500 million to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015. This is the largest prospective commitment RWJF has made on any issue, and it’s also the largest commitment any foundation has made to address childhood obesity.
Getting Kids Physical
National Expansion of Playworks: A Program that Promotes Physical Activity and Play at Schools (2008–2015)
With support surpassing $35 million, RWJF backs expansion of Playworks, an innovative approach to school recess. On and off the playground, the program encourages safe, healthy play among low-income, grade-school children, while also building leadership and conflict resolution skills and decreasing bullying. Teachers report that kids return from recess more focused and ready to learn. With RWJF’s help, Playworks expands to more than 300 schools in 23 cities.
Nursing Campaign for Action
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing (2008–2011) and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action (2010– Present)
RWJF identifies nurses as critical to health care’s future and issues a landmark report with the institute of medicine. key recommendations: (1) Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and capabilities; (2) Achieve higher levels of education and training; and (3) Be full partners with other health professionals in redesigning health care in the united states. Also, (4) Effective workforce planning and policy-making will require better data and information infrastructure. A more diverse workforce is called pivotal to improved care.
Aligning the Mission
RWJF adopts six mission statements attuned to passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to: cover the uninsured; bring down spending; improve the quality, value and the equality of health care; prevent disease and promote healthier lifestyles; strengthen public health; and address the social determinants of health.
Better Care for More People
Project ECHO (2009–2012) Project ECHO transforms the delivery of complex care to underserved populations by using a revolutionary knowledge-sharing model. Through ECHO’s case-based approach, academic medical centers bring expertise to primary care doctors in the field. RWJF support helps take this model to industrial strength as a new norm in medical practice. One takeaway: plugged into a knowledge network, local primary care teams can provide the same quality of complex chronic care as specialists.
RWJF's 40th Anniversary
RWJF kicks off a year-long commemoration of its first 40 years of grantmaking by reflecting back and planning for the future.
The Push for the Summit: Creating Health Care's New TerrainScaling Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro was a thrilling accomplishment for RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA. The grueling, 19,341-foot trek to the top of Tanzania's natural wonder required patience, teamwork, determination, and a mindful and measured pace, preparation, and endurance. Many of the same skills and talents can be said to drive the Foundation in its quest to ever greater achievements.
"Think of health and health care as our philanthropy's Kilimanjaro, " Lavizzo-Mourey suggests. A steep climb awaits us. We can get there if we heed the sage advice of her guide on the trek: Always onward. Always upward.
Preparing for Health in 2032
The Institute for Alternative Futures hosts a symposium in Kansas City, Mo., to look 20 years ahead to alternative scenarios for health and health care. Health leadership, new health roles, and liberating health data are identified as key areas of opportunity. A report to the nation with recommendations on how to improve health over the next two decades is released by the Institute for Alternative Futures.
Tomorrow's Health Leaders
RWJF Young Leaders Awards
RWJF announces award competition to recognize 10 leaders, ages 40 and younger, who demonstrate the characteristics needed to provide leadership for improving health and health care in the future. Each winner will receive an individual award of $40,000.
Affordable Care Act Survives Court Challenge
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act. The law is expected to greatly expand health coverage in America, a long-time goal of RWJF.
A New Board Chair is Named
Roger Fine is named as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Board Chair, replacing Governor Thomas H. Kean.
Welcome to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interactive Timeline (1972-present)